Macau’s Meteorological and Geographical Bureau (SMG) apologised Monday for incorrectly announcing on its website on Sunday that the No. 10 typhoon signal – the highest storm warning signal – was in force at a time when Usagi was 490 kilometres east of Macau.
The wrong information was displayed for four minutes – from 6:21 a.m. to 6:25 a.m. on Sunday, according to an SMG statement.
Unlike Hong Kong, Typhoon Usagi spared Macau.
The bureau said in the statement quoted by The Macau Post Daily today that it “sincerely apologises for any inconvenience” that the wrong announcement “might have caused to the public.”
The bureau pledged that it would carry out a “thorough investigation” into the incident “and take appropriate measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.”
The bureau hoisted the No. 1 stand-by signal on Saturday afternoon and at 11 a.m. on Sunday upgraded it to the No. 3 signal.
The bureau told government broadcaster TDM on Sunday morning that it was considering hoisting the No. 8 signal before 7 p.m.
After TDM broadcast the weather bureau’s possible hoisting of the No. 8 signal before 7 p.m., many local shops and restaurants decided to close early.
SMG Director Fong Soi Kun told TDM after 8:30 p.m. that there existed a “50-50” chance that the No. 8 signal would be hoisted later that night. He also said that the bureau would decide on the matter at 10 p.m. The No. 8 signal was never hoisted and the No. 3 typhoon signal was in place until 11 a.m. Monday when the bureau lowered all typhoon signals.
The bureau said in a separate statement that “as the range of gale wind of Typhoon Usagi was centred at the east of the Pearl River Estuary, the highest wind force recorded was only the wind force for a typhoon signal No. 3 (53 km/h).” The statement pointed out that the wind force of the No. 8 signal amounts to 63 to 117 km/h.
Due to the adverse effects of Usagi, ferry operators suspended their services and the last Hong Kong-bound ferries from Pac On and the Outer Harbour piers left at 5:30 and 6 p.m. on Sunday respectively, while Air Macau announced on Sunday that about 30 flights were cancelled.
Because of typhoon Usagi, about 70 flights departing from or arriving at the airport in Taipa were cancelled from Sunday to Monday. About 20 flights to and from Macau were cancelled Monday even though Usagi had made landfall in Shanwei at around midnight.
Normal service for take-offs and touch-downs was gradually resumed Monday although the backlog of delayed flights from Sunday and Monday morning took several hours to clear.
Ferry services between Macau and Hong Kong resumed Monday morning shortly after the Hong Kong Observatory had downgraded the No. 8 to the No. 3 signal . (macaunews)